I went to visit a friend early yesterday morning. When she opened the front door, this little Carpet Python fell right between us…and I was immediately morphed into my own personal photography heaven. Thankfully I was on my way for a hike with Toby and had my camera sitting on the front seat in the truck.
This was the most aggressive snake I’ve come across yet. Most Australians will immediately recognize these guys, often sprawled out across ledges or outdoor furniture. They are non-venomous and mistakenly thought to be docile. They are, however, generally quite aggressive and grow to over 3 meters with massive teeth. So non-venomous they may be, but harmless, absolutely not.
This little guy was thankfully only a baby. He struck at me every few seconds, nailing my lens, my flash and almost my finger several times. It was daunting, even though a bite wouldn’t have caused any major issues at this size. He did have MANY sharp little fangs that would easily pierce the skin, but not big enough to cause a major injury.
After our little photo shoot, I put a leather glove on and picked him up to carry him down to the river, away from the house. He bit me a few times on the glove at this point, actually piercing right into the leather and briefly hanging. Once he realized I was actually not a predator and meant him no harm at all, he settled and I was able to carry him peacefully away without the glove and any further attacks.
It was a great morning. Matter of fact, just after, on our hike, we saw two massive Lace Monitors (goannas) scurry up a tree…I was equipped with macro, so I did get some pics, but not the kind I would have had I been equipped with my telephoto lens. Oh well.
He put up a brilliant fight and I had this exact image lunging toward me every time I tried to touch him…but finally my persistence paid off and I was able to pick him up. 🙂 He is a Blue Tongue Lizard, a skink to be exact and aptly named for the obvious. He looks and feels like a snake, except he has legs. When approached by a possible predator this lizard expands with air, hisses and snaps his giant, blue tongued mouth at anything he can. Blue Tongues are larger than normal skinks and can be quite intimidating when approached.
After admiring him gently this afternoon I went inside to read about him. I read that they have powerful bites and will latch on to your finger if given the chance. Although he almost got me a few times, I thankfully didn’t get bit and we both walked away completely unscathed.